Partner Megan Noh was interviewed by Forbes, following the recent announcement by the Manhattan District Attorney that Christie's will pay New York $10 million now, and as much as $6.7 million more over the next two years, for tax violations.
Forbes editor Barden Prisant asserts that the exposure of Christie's tax violations does not indicate that other large industry organizations, such as Sotheby's, are at risk. However, according to Noh, private sellers delivering works in other states may face increased pressure.
Noh notes that "enforcement actions of this type, are highly fact-specific," however, "...[we've] seen that the push to generate additional sales tax revenue is not unique to New York. On that basis, it may be reasonable to conclude that other states will focus more closely on documentation of the mechanics of where and how artworks are delivered, and potentially initiate their own investigations or enforcement actions."
Christie's has been charged with "failing to register to collect and to collect New York and local sales tax between 2013 to 2017...[reportedly], the violations arose from inaccurate advice given to London-based Christie's Private Sales." According to the company's press release, "Christie's employees had determined in 2015 that they had been in violation since 2013. Christie's chose not to rectify the matter owing to 'the perceived audit risk.'"
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